Project Gaia Transients


Project Gaia Transients

We are pleased to announce that in April 2019 we have started an ESA project GAIA TRANSIENTS!


ESA’s satellite Gaia is discovering a large number of astrophysical transient sources, some of them extragalactic (i.e. supernovae, gamma ray bursts, tidal disruption events). Transient candidates (i.e. potential real new sources) are run through a specialized Gaia Science Alerts pipeline and, if recognized by it as real transients, a Gaia Photometric Science Alert is released for each of them (with its characteristics) to the international scientific community to enable "follow-up" observations and further study. However, the number of transient alerts released to the community is much lower than the number of transient candidates detected by Gaia. This is due to uncertainties in identification and classification of transients and the fact than only firmly detected and classified events are reported to the community. There are, therefore, many exciting events and phenomena that are missed. Simply lowering the threshold for detection would increase the number of false alerts. Therefore, implementation of additional and advanced identification and classification methods (using both, photometric and spectral information) is needed, which would significantly increase the number of firm transient detections and would enhance the exploitation of Gaia data and research activity in Gaia community.


Aalta Lab will participate as a subcontractor to the University of Nova Gorica and will work on development of new, advanced methods and algorithms for transient identification and basic classification. We will also test performance of the new methods with known Gaia samples of transients and fine-tune them for maximal reliability and minimal rate of false alarms.


GAIA TRANSIENTS is a project funded by the European Space Agency.

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